Evaluation of the efficacy of antibacterial medical gloves in the ICU setting

M. Kahar Bador, V. Rai, M. Y. Yusof, W. K. Kwong, O. Assadian

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Inappropriate use of medical gloves may support microbial transmission. New strategies could increase the safety of medical gloves without the risk of patient and surface contamination. Aim: To compare the efficacy of synthetic antibacterial nitrile medical gloves coated with polyhexamethylen-biguanid hydrochloride (PHMB) on the external surface with identical non-antibacterial medical gloves in reducing glove contamination after common patient care measures in an intensive care unit (ICU) setting. Methods: ICU staff wore either standard or antibacterial gloves during patient care activities. The number of bacteria on gloves was measured semi-quantitatively immediately after the performance of four clinical activities. Findings: There was a significant difference in mean bacterial growth [colony-forming units (cfu)] between control gloves and antibacterial gloves {60 [standard deviation (SD) 23] vs 16 (SD 23) cfu/glove imprint, P<0.001}. In three of the four clinical activities (intravenous fluid handling, oral toilet and physiotherapy), the antibacterial gloves had significantly less bacterial contamination compared with the control gloves (P=0.011 and <0.001, respectively). Although antibacterial gloves showed lower bacterial contamination after changing linen compared with control gloves, the difference was not significant (P=0.311). Conclusion: This study showed that use of antibacterial medical gloves significantly reduced bacterial contamination after typical patient care activities in 57% of the investigated clinical activities (P<0.01). The use of antibacterial medical gloves may support reduction of cross-contamination in the ICU setting.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)248-252
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Hospital Infection
Issue number3
Early online date5 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2015


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